How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Freeland, Michigan
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    97

    Question How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    Just wondering how everyone in the Northeast/central is making out so far?

    I looked through the vent hole in my candy board and still see then in there. Though they have ate all 15lbs of the candy but maybe 1/2-1cup left. I popped the back and noticed that the bees are all up towards the front of the hive. Though it looks as though they left some bees behind as there's maybe 100 that I can see on the back side of the board all dead. I made some more candy today and I'm waiting for it to dry. I made it in a cake pan and plan on cutting it to size when it's hard enough. I was wondering at which point I should insert the pollen patty though? My thoughts are around end of Feburary??? Look forward to hearing about everyone hive.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
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    3,388

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    Ten for ten (the tiny swarm died off as expected, only a couple hundred bees at most in August). Up to the last couple days they were all flying, including some drones.

    All hives nice and heavy, we will see what happens the next warm day I get to look at them, expect cold weather for a few weeks in Jan. this year.

    Peter

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Green Bay, WI
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    Both mine died a few weeks ago. Left them 100lbs and they are no more. One give had nice move in so not sure if that's what got them, mites, or not enough honey. Oh well, at least I know now so I can order more for spring.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Crown Point, NY, USA
    Posts
    577

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    As of a week ago, no loses. Going into year 16 TF. Winters not over yet..... small cell.... oh wait doesn't work anyways.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    34,541

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    Winter only just started. Ask me in two months.
    Mark Berninghausen

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    3,080

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    What sqkcrk said. So far they are all active, but they shouldn't be.

    I figure to sit back, watch their weight, and feed if they get hungry. And let them teach me, because this situation is not in my books.

    I have an OAV kit on order. If we get another warm spell (likely in our climate), one of the hives that was nearly mite free this August has dropped a handful in the last couple of weeks, and may benefit from a snort.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Johnson City, TN
    Posts
    257

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    Both my hives are still alive and going strong...which is making me nervous about stores. Pollen has been coming in from what must only be dandelions and possibly the Forsyth that has been blooming a bit. I've been giving them Lauri's sugar patties to try to prevent them from using up their stores/insulation before late Jan/Feb hits but I haven't hefted them in a while so I guess I'll just have to see about that later this week.
    4th Yr. 8 hives. Italian/Carniolan apiary. 3 loss over 4 yr. W.NC location.
    https://instagram.com/jacquelinehinshaw/

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Sawyer County,WI USA
    Posts
    369

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jmayerl View Post
    Both mine died a few weeks ago. Left them 100lbs and they are no more. One give had nice move in so not sure if that's what got them, mites, or not enough honey. Oh well, at least I know now so I can order more for spring.

    Sad to hear this, especially since it appears they had plenty of stores. One question; Are you absolutely positive they had a viable queen at the end of Fall?

    Now for a few suggestions; Be sure to get mouse guard on (early is better than too late), we leave our's on all year. Check for mites, don't guess. If you see some 'do' something, regardless of particular beekeeping philosophy. When you checked the 'dead out' colonies was the temp below 32F? "What" condition prompted this winter inspection? Was there a visible cluster near their honey ...or...was the bottom just filled with bees...or...were there just no bees or a lot less than when last inspected...???? .....And...are you certain they were dead....and not just in cluster?

    Green bay has had a warmer than average winter so far , but not warm enough to conduct inspections IMHO. ....just saying and wondering....

    (we use a stethoscope for wintertime exams)

    OK, ok I guess I had more than 'one' question....but dead bees provide us with the perfect opportunity to conduct an examination to figure out WHY they died. Dead outs s/b completely investigated IMHO...

    Oh, BTW....we've still got 4-5 months of winter left ...so far we can hear them all buzzing with the stethoscope....
    Last edited by drummerboy; 01-02-2016 at 07:48 AM.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Sawyer County,WI USA
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    369

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by psfred View Post
    Ten for ten (the tiny swarm died off as expected, only a couple hundred bees at most in August). Up to the last couple days they were all flying, including some drones.

    All hives nice and heavy, we will see what happens the next warm day I get to look at them, expect cold weather for a few weeks in Jan. this year.

    Peter
    Seeing drones this late, even in IN indicates queen issues IMO

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    3,388

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    Could be, didn't do an inspection because there isn't anything I can do about it this late. Only two hives had significant numbers. Both Italians.

    Hives are heavy, lots of bees and brood in September, lots of feeding to get them up to weight (all new hives this year), so I'm not worried too much. Heavy pollen flow all fall, maybe they thought it was still late summer, eh?

    We shall see in March.

    Peter

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Lawrence, Kansas, USA
    Posts
    902

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    I'm 5 of 7 thus far and worried. At this point, I'm just hoping to get a couple through.

    Brent
    Brent
    Zone 6a, Started April 2014

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Freeland, Michigan
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    I got some sugar bricks in the hive today. They were very active and not in a cluster. I like this warm weather but I hope my girls make it. This was an almost to string of give going into winter. So food is essential as they were larger than they should have been.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
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    1,625

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    I still have all the hives I went into winter with and I am monitoring the weights more closely now, we still have the coldest months ahead of us and I am already looking forward to spring.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio Zone 6A, Never look down on anybody unless you are helping them up

  15. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    4,323

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    Only lost one so far. Expected as it was a small and late swarm. Bees are going through stores like there's no tomorrow because they have been so active for so long. They had plenty of stores going into winter. Supplimental feeding every few weeks. I can't wait for spring. It's a good thing I check the hives and don't "set and forget". I'd hate to see a bunch of deadouts come spring due to starvation as a result of laziness.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Freeland, Michigan
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    When you guys see that the hives are light what exactly are you feeding? Here it's too cold to feed sugar water. And I have had hives die within inches of filled comb.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    4,323

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    Dry sugar mountain camp method.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
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    3,080

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    Only one hive needs feeding now, and we're using mountain camp for that one. Their quilt box has the screen installed so that it gives the same space as a feeding shim, so there is plenty of room for either a pile of sugar or a sugar brick.

    Another hive has a couple of sugar brick frames ready to go on.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Freeland, Michigan
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    Should I be feeding dry sugar instead of sugar bricks?

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
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    1,625

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    Doesn't matter either one will work fine, some people like the loose sugar because it absorbs some of the hive moisture.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio Zone 6A, Never look down on anybody unless you are helping them up

  21. #20

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    We have no winter.
    Bees are active on warmer days. They are in loose clusters.
    All hives are still alive, but I`m not opening so I don`t know the amount of bees. Sound is ok.
    The bees on 2 deeps moved up to the stores.
    The bees on 1 deep have beespace on top and I think it`s warm enough they are able to move sideways.
    They had so much food in October I will take starvation as natural selection if they can reach the stores.
    I`m not feeding pollen patties because I don`t want to enforce breeding before a cold spell will come eventually.
    Hazel and willow are starting to bloom, so they will have something to forage if they are able to.

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